Former city employee sentenced to 24 months for wire fraud

Koteski obtained $150,332 illegally from nonprofit

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ROCKFORD — A former resident and employee of the City of Rochelle was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to 24 months in federal prison for wire fraud, a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release said

Scott Koteski, 58, of Rochelle will have his sentence followed by one year of supervised release and was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $150,332.17, the release said. Koteski pled guilty to the charge on March 9, 2021.

According to the written plea agreement, starting in 2011, Koteski was selected to sit on the board of directors of a non-profit business association and selected as the treasurer of that association. 

As treasurer, Koteski handled the invoicing and billing of the member municipalities, and as of February 2012, Koteski had signatory authority on the association’s bank account. From Sept. 2012 through April 2018, Koteski fraudulently obtained at least $150,000 from the association, which he used for his own benefit without the association’s knowledge or consent, the release said. 

Koteski wrote numerous checks to himself from the association’s bank account, which he deposited into his personal bank account for his personal benefit, the release said. 

Koteski concealed his acts by writing false information on the memo line to make it appear the checks were for reimbursement of personal monies Koteski spent for the association when, in fact, Koteski was not entitled to reimbursement.

Additionally, according to the plea agreement, in 2018, Koteski made online payments from the association’s bank account to a credit card company to pay for balances on his personal credit card and to an online loan financing company to pay for balances on Koteski’s loan.

The sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Emmerson Buie, Jr., special agent-in-charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

The Illinois State Police assisted in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Paccagnini.